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Published: Tuesday, 7/22/2008

New Tour de France leader, team given surprise doping tests


CUNEO, Italy - New Tour de France leader Frank Schleck and his CSC team were given a surprise doping test after the 15th stage ended in Italy on Sunday. No results were announced in a race in which three riders have been ousted for drugs.

As many as six riders were tested at CSC's hotel, the Italian Olympic Committee said yesterday. Labs usually require several days to analyze doping tests. Fifteen more surprise tests were carried out by CONI on unnamed teams yesterday.

The French anti-doping agency is controlling drug testing at this year's Tour. The Italian committee oversees doping in Italy and indicated that Sunday's tests were part of a pre-race agreement with the French authorities.

Spanish riders Moises Duenas Nevado and Manuel Beltran have been ejected for doping. Italy's Riccardo Ricco won two stages before he was removed for testing positive for the blood-booster EPO.

Schleck took the overall lead Sunday from Cadel Evans during the stage that crossed into Italy. The teams remained in Italy for a rest day yesterday before the 16th stage brings the race back to France today.

The tests will go to the committee's anti-doping laboratory in Rome, and the results will be sent to the French agency.

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